A regular new feature takes a quick look around the rest of the world to catch up on the weekend and the Argentinos plying their trade in leagues around the world. Any that you feel deserved a mention and are not here then feel free to leave a comment….
After calling time on his brief international retirement and his inclusion in Edgardo Bauza’s first Argentina squad, there is no better place to start than Lionel Messi’s dazzling display for Barcelona in their La Liga opener against Real Betis. Looking to put a summer of disappointment behind him, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner showed no signs of early sign rust as he ran rings around Gus Poyet’s side in the Camp Nou. The Catalan giants romped to a 6-2 victory with Messi scoring twice but playing a part in almost every goal with a masterclass in incisive passing. Luis Suárez, the main beneficiary, came away with a hat-trick and said, “Leo has started like a beast and is the best player in the world. All you can do is surrender to his feet and enjoy him.”
Jorge Sampaoli didn’t have the easiest starts to life in Sevilla with a UEFA Supercopa against Real Madrid and a Supercopa de España defeat to Barcelona but his La Liga debut as coach of Los Rojiblancos was exhilarating stuff. There is obviously plenty of work to do defensively on the evidence of their 6-4 win over Espanyol but with Franco Vázquez already looking like he could be one of the bargains of the summer, Sevilla are a team to watch this season. Luciano Vietto scored twice and with this level of ammunition could be set for a superb campaign at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. Despite ending up on the losing side, Pablo Piatti deserves a mention after scoring one and creating two.
With Barcelona and Real Madrid both winning, the third name in the title race, Atlético Madrid would have wanted to match their rivals Diego Simeone’s boys had to settle for a 1-1 draw away to Mauricio Pellegrino’s well-drilled Alaves side. Nicolás Gaitan and Angel Correa both came from the bench but could not help Los Colchoneros snatch all three points.
Earlier in the weekend, Ezequiel Ponce netted a debut goal to earn Granada a 1-1 draw with Villarreal. The 19-year-old joined on loan from Roma this summer and has made an impressive start.
“Keep saying I’m fat, I will continue to score goals,” were the defiant words of Gonzalo Higuaín after Juventus’ huge summer signing came from the bench to give the Bianconeri a 2-1 win over Fiorentina on day one of their Serie A title defence. Paulo Dybala had expected to provide the firepower for Massimiliano Allegri’s champions but after a frustrating afternoon for the youngster, it was left to the €90 million striker to snatch all three points with a close range finish.
While Juve struggled to victory, Roma were excellent value for their 4-0 win over Udinese with a second half blitz coinciding with the introduction of Diego Perotti in the 57th minute. The former Deportivo Morón midfielder scored twice from the penalty spot before crossing for Mohamed Salah to notch a fourth while in-demand Leandro Paredes produced an impressive performance from his deep playmaking role.
Elsewhere in Serie A, Mauro Icardi and Ever Banega suffered defeat on the opening weekend as Frank de Boer’s new-look Inter Milan side fell 2-0 away to Chievo while Lucas Biglia captained Lazio to an exciting 4-3 win away to Atalanta.
In the Premier League, Sergio Agüero’s fine start to life under new coach Pep Guardiola continued with a brace in the win over Stoke City, coming days after his hat-trick against Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League playoff. Nolito added two of his own to wrap up a convincing 4-1 win for Manchester City and sent them top of the table on goal difference at this very early stage.
Aguero’s second goal. 2-0 pic.twitter.com/Buxp7p1Rvl
— MCFC Latest News (@MCFCLatestNews) August 20, 2016
Jonathan Calleri made his Premier League debut in West Ham’s late win at home to Bournemouth and wasted a glorious opportunity to open his Hammers account while Erik Lamela played an important role in Tottenham’s victory over Crystal Palace.
Across the Channel in Ligue 1 and Paris Saint Germain eased past Metz with a 3-0 scoreline that could have been far more had it not been for the wasteful finishing of Edinson Cavani. Ángel Di María was in fine form and tormented the Grenats’ defence all evening, hitting the crossbar himself and playing a part in all three goals as Unai Emery’s side maintained their 100% start to the season.
Toulouse earned a first win of the season with a 4-1 victory against Bordeaux with former Boca Juniors academy product Oscar Trejo creating two from set-pieces.
ADO Den Haag made it three wins from three in the Eridivisie after Friday’s win over Excelsior and summer signing Jose San Román created the equaliser for Gervane Kastaneer.
There were plenty of Argentine goals in Liga MX – former Wigan striker Mauro Boselli scored twice as struggling León beat Queretaro and Ismael Sosa also notched a brace as Tigres came from behind to defeat Pachuca in an early season top of the table clash.
Jonathan Cristaldo scored his first league goal for Cruz Azul since joining from Palmeiras as La Maquina saw off Santos Laguna and in the 2-2 draw between Veracruz and Toluca, Enrique Triverio and Gabriel Peñalba were both on the scoresheet. Over in the Estadio Cuauhtémoc, an ill-tempered 2-2 draw between Puebla and Club América saw both teams have an Argentine sent off, with Rubens Sambueza given his marching orders first before being followed by Damián Schmidt for the home side.
In the MLS, Luis Solignac scored one of the goals of the weekend as Chicago Fire beat Montreal Impact and later Federico Higuaín grabbed himself a goal in Columbus Crew’s 2-0 win over New England Revolution.
Dario Conca was among the scorers in the Chinese Super League as his Shanghai SPIG side beat Shijiazhuang 4-1.
And closer to home Ramón ‘Wanchope’ Abila netted his fifth goal in eight games as Cruzeiro beat Figueirense in the Brazilian top flight. Spurred on by Atletico Mineiro striker Lucas Pratto being named in Edgardo Bauza’s Argentina squad, Abila will be hoping he can catch the eye.
Figueirense 0 x 2 Cruzeiro pic.twitter.com/TEeXg8gt5J
— CECTimeDoPovo (@CECTimedoPovo) August 21, 2016
Any missed from around the world, let us know!